I. Pre-Listening Exercises [Top]

On what occassions do people buy flowers for others (e.g., marriages, funerals, etc.)? Where can you buy flowers in your area? What types of flowers (and colors) are given for different life events?

HELPFUL TIP: Ordering flowers online can be an easy and convenient way of buying flowers for friends and family. However, be sure to compare companies and prices to get exactly what you want.

II. Listening Exercises [Top]

Listen to the conversation by pressing the “Play Audio” button and answer the questions. Press the “Final Score” button to check your quiz.

1. Why does the man want to buy flowers for his wife?

A. He wants to surprise his wife for her birthday.

B. His wife has just received a nice job promotion.

C. The man didn’t remember the day they got married.
2. The florist summarizes her thoughts on men by saying that they are:

A. neglectful and cheap

B. serious and thrifty

C. conservative and cautious

3. Near the beginning of the conversation, what is one thing that the woman suggests the man do for his wife?

A. take his wife to an elegant restaurant

B. purchase a couple of beautiful balloons

C. buy twelve gorgeous roses

4. Why does the man panic when seeing his wife outside the store?

A. She will realize he spaced their important day.

B. Her finding him in the flower shop will spoil the surprise.

C. His wife will think he is buying the flowers for someone else.

5. What is the most plausible ending to the conversation?

A. The man’s wife graciously accepts the dozen roses the man buys for her.

B. The man begs his wife to forgive him when he comes out of the shop.

C. The florist delivers the flowers for the man because he is embarrassed.

Score =
Correct answers:

Florist: Hi. May I help you?

Customer: Yeah. Um. You see, I need some flowers for my wife, and uh, and, you know, I . . .

Florist: Let . . . Let me guess. You forget your anniversary, and you’re trying to make things up, right?

Customer: Oh. Yeah, is it that obvious?

Florist: Well, yeah. We see men like you all the time that are so involved in their work that they simply forget about us.

Customer: Well, in, in . . . in this case, it’s not like that.

Florist: Sure. What do you need?

Customer: Well, uh, I’d like to get a dozen roses with some greenery, and a very nice card.

Florist: Do you really think a dozen roses is going to cut it?

Customer: Well, yeah . . .

Florist: I mean, if my husband forgot our anniversary, he’d be in the doghouse for sure. [Well . . .] You need at least two dozen roses, a dozen balloons, and a romantic evening at an expensive restaurant.

Customer: Well, I only have $10, and . . .

Florist: Ten dollars? Well, that will buy you a single rose and a hamburger at McDonalds, but that’s it.

Customer: Uh, wait. I actually have twelve dollars and . . . wait, hang on, let me see here . . . thirty-two cents, so that might be . . .

Florist: Forget playing golf this weekend. Your wife is way more important.

Customer: Oh, no. OH, NO! My wife is out in the parking lot looking for me. Oh. And, and . . . she’s looking this way. PLEASE, PLEASE. Help me! She’ll wring my neck for sure.

Florist: Okay, Okay. Uh, let’s see. Hum. [PLEASE, PLEASE!]. Well, well, it looks like I can arrange a small bouquet of roses. [Okay.] A couple are a little wilted [Oh, that’s okay.], but that’s the best I can do. [Oh, yes. Oh, yes. That’s fine.] And I can also attach a small card and tie a nice ribbon around the flowers.

Customer: Oh, that would be great. You’re a lifesaver. I’ll put you on my Christmas card list forever.

Florist: Okay. Okay. That’ll be twelve dollars even.

Customer: You’re an angel. Thank you. Thank you. Oh, no. [What?] Now, she’s parked in front of your store waiting for me. I’m dead meat. Do you have a back door?

Florist: No! It looks like you need to face the music and just talk to her. [I can’t, I can’t.] She’ll probably be very understanding after you promise . . . [You don’t know my wife.] Well, you need to promise to wash the dishes and clean the bathroom for the next six months. Get out there and be a man.

Customer: Could you call an ambulance . . . just in case? This could get ugly.

Florist: Men.

Key Vocabulary [Top]
  • make up (phrasal verb): become friendly after having a fight or argument
    – My parents made up after having a simple argument over who cooked more at home.
  • cut it (phrasal verb): be enough to do something or deal with an issue
    – Studying only 30 minutes for the final exam just won’t cut it. You’ll fail the test for sure if you don’t study more.
    – Buying cheap flowers for your wife won’t cut it. She’ll certainly be unhappy if you do that.
  • be in the doghouse (idiom): be in disfavor or in a bad situation because you did or said something bad
    – He was in the doghouse for a while because didn’t tell his wife the truth.
  • wring someone’s neck (idiom): punish someone for something he or she did
    – My girlfriend will wring my neck if she finds out I watched a football game with some friends instead of taking her out for dinner.
  • wilt (verb): to bend over and look dead because something is old and dry
    – The flowers I was going to give my wife wilted because I forgot to water them.
  • dead meat ( (idiom): in serious trouble
    – Sara’s boyfriend is dead meat. She just found out that he has been seeing someone else.
  • face the music (idiom): accept the punishment or the consequences for certain events or your actions
    – Hey, you have to face the music sooner or later and just accept the fact that your girlfriend isn’t coming back to you.
  • ugly (adjective): very bad or potentially violent
    – The game turned ugly when players from both teams ran onto the field and started fighting.